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Blister Beetle outbreak in Idaho article

blister beete beetle alfalfa insects pests

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#1 downtownjr

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 05:52 PM

Article for those in the PNW.

http://hayandforage....daho#node-11101

#2 hay wilson in TX

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:43 PM

Interesting but not news.

First off there are always some blister beetles wherever there are both flowering plants and grasshoppers. So the announcement that there are now blister beetles in Idaho, Texas, &c.may be misleading.

In the articles I read they were talking about the Black Blister Beetle. A rule of thumb in the critter world is the gaudy creatures are usually poisonous than the inconspicuous ones. The Striped Beetles are the ones that have the higher lethal dose than does the striped beetle.
Before becoming complacent with the idea that it is only the black or gray beetle remember a horse will die from colic with a lessor poison dosage !
At a less than lethal poison level a cow, sheep, or goat will go off feed and loose milk production. Probably have some poison in the milk to boot.
As the effect of the poison decreases the animals will go back to normal feed intake, but there still is some weight loss and some milk loss.

Now if you are really excited you can park your conditioning mower and use a simple mower for June, July, & August for here in Texas. That is when our hay cures rapidly anyway, but the conditioning mower is still a useful tool for our March, April, May, & October cuttings.

The article mentioned swarms, the correct term is Aggregation. The critters will be concentrated in a really small area and can be seen one or more rounds before reaching the beetles. When coming up on an aggregation (swarm) simply pick up the mower and do not cut where they are. With a 9 ft mower I have yet to need to pick up and go over for more than three rounds and not for more than 30 running feet.

The key is the equipment operatormust be awake and paying attention to business.
Pull the ALL forms of entertainment from the tractor.

For Idaho and West Texas [Western Arid States] there is another avenue for blister beetle contamination. Where the hay is baled at night, the beetles put up in a windrow at night and this can be the method of ingesting thousands of beetles into a single bale.

My favorite reference is http://www.caes.uga....pdf/C 917_4.PDF Blister Beetles in Georgia Alfalfa Hay. Most states have literature on the beetle but I believe the Georgia information is the most comprehensive.

There is no way to Garrondtee beetle free, just as it is not possible to keep a dead rat or snake from being baled up.
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